Customer profile: Celestis

Memorial Flights Take Off

Celestis is the leading provider of memorial spaceflights and space burial services, helping families around the world commemorate their departed loved ones. Founded in 1994, the company is now preparing for its 23rd mission.

With an increased demand from families wanting to memorialize their loved ones with an orbital flight, it’s critical the company has routine, frequent access to launches. Celestis called once again on Spaceflight Inc. to manage its next launch, which is scheduled to lift-off no earlier than April 2023 from Vandenberg Space Force Base, in central California.

Celestis’ Excelsior Flight will carry a symbolic portion of the cremated remains or DNA of 106 flight participants as it orbits the Earth – eventually reentering the Earth’s atmosphere, safely engineered to avoid creating orbital debris.

“Cremation is a growing trend worldwide, and we’re honored to offer a memorable experience for those that want something a bit more unique,” said Charles M. Chafer, co-founder and CEO of Celestis. “Spaceflight is an excellent partner in our efforts because they make it easy; they handle all the space logistics – the testing, mission and launch requirements. This helps us focus on providing grief counseling services for the families, which is our specialty – and one we’re proud to offer.”

Celestis Memorial Space Flight Services are often selected by veterans and families of those who served, as well as adventurers, space geeks, science fiction fans, environmental activists and more. For this next mission, Chafer estimates 20 percent are veterans, with more than 5 countries represented.

“These memorial missions give us a genuine sense of fulfillment. While funerals are all emotional, it never ceases to amaze me to see our clients, with whom we’ve worked with for years in advance, cheer with pure happiness as their loved ones leave this Earth. Working with Spaceflight to deliver this service is critical in our promise to honor many remarkable people.”

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